Being in the golf club business means participating in various “demo days” around the country, where golfers have a great chance to come out and try the newest and greatest of golf equipment and accessories. I’m writing this on the way to Door County, Wisconsin to represent SCOR Golf at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club’s annual season kick-off event, which is a huge thing I’m told. Head Golf Professional and Director of Instruction Peter Mogg is a big SCOR4161 fan and fitter, and told us practically their entire membership turns out for this annual event.
There’s some fun tossed into this trip, as my long-time business partner, Ralph Thompson, and I will be staying with some dear friends we met on a golf course in Alabama some years back. That’s one of the other wonderful things about this game. 18 holes of golf together turned complete strangers into great friends. What a game!!!
Anyway, we’ve done a number of demo days and I’m always amazed at how golfers approach these “candy stores”. Some come with their golf shoes on, a glove in their pocket and are ready to really test the wares. Others seem to have just stumbled onto the event, and are not dressed or equipped to really test the offerings of the companies exhibiting.
But the main thing that perplexes me about demo days is the “smash it” mentality that pervades. There are a lot of clubs to try other than drivers, you know. But as a wedge company, we watch golfers swing from their heels with every driver they can try, and totally bypass the opportunity to see and try irons, hybrids, wedges and putters. Not to mention the frequent assortment of training aids and accessories.
You all probably get tired of me harping about the practically singular focus on distance, distance, distance, but I think it’s hurting the game. Golf is about scoring, plain and simple. People drop out because they don’t get better. And they don’t get better because they don’t work on the things that improve their scoring. It is pretty effortless to spend time working on your short game technique and exploring equipment options that could help you. But most golfers will go through an entire bag/bucket/basket of range balls without ever hitting some soft wedge shots, different pitches, bunker practice . . . and time on and around the putting green.
The fact is that if you want to get better, you need to improve your performance from 9-iron range and in. Regardless of your handicap, that is where strokes can be shaved the quickest. What’s great is that this is where you can really work on fundamentals of grip, posture, plan/path and release of the club through impact, as you as you are working slower. And the fundamentals that you learn there will migrate to all facets of your game.
I’ve seen lots of golfers with big drives who couldn’t score a lick, but never can I remember seeing a golfer with a good short game who wasn’t also pretty darn strong with everything else.
Think about that.